‘A new scale: …no formula for the contemporary expression of the world. See with open eyes.’

Oswald de Andrade, Manifesto Pau-Brasil

Intermediate Unit 8 will continue to work on the design of a block in a Latin-American metropolis. This design will interrogate the civic role of large buildings in vast polycentric cities, considering for it the coexistence of public and private premises. The block will be located within São Paulo heterogeneous grid, and its size will range between 90 and 150 metres in each of its sides depending on the chosen neighbourhood.

Being one of the first countries opposing neoliberal policies widespread in Latin-America, Brazil has become a reference for an alternative model of economic and social development. São Paulo, its economic centre, has a fragmented urban configuration full of contrasts consequential of a rapid economic and social growth. Each of its fragments is a result of different negotiations between government and private investment, what has left a disjointed urban grid with no continuous street wall, full of interior borders and lacking urban cohesion. The unit proposes to work within this heterogeneous grid to explore a polycentric city model and the fundamental role of large urban blocks in bringing centrality to each urban fragment by their civic performance.

For this purpose, the structure of the academic year will be divided in three interrelated parts. 1. Field: Maps, photographs, indexes and observations on social, cultural and economic issues in the city that will inform the programmatic brief of the block and its civic role within the city. 2. Form: Analysis of formal spatial configurations that will articulate the block programmatic content. Some examples of Paulista School architects, such as Vilanova Artigas, Bo Bardi and Mendes da Rocha, and large urban block proposals by other contemporary authors will be studied. 3. Interface: Studies on the responsiveness of the block, focussing on the relationship between the city and the block and qualities such as porosity, permeability and interaction will be explored through model making in a wide range of scales and larger material tests of building envelope. Finally, the unit will prime portfolio development and a holistic understanding of the design, investigating different possibilities of the axonometric view.


Third Year Final Check Part 1

Third Year  Final Check – tables will be on Monday 16th and 17th of June in the Lecture Hall as follows,


10.00 David Koo
10.30 George Ferguson
11.00 Atira Ariffin


10.00 Alex Khachwojian
10.30 Soso Eliava
11.00 Laurens Paulmann

Congratulations to our third year students for their great work and presentations.
Atira 28

Tutorials Third years

Tutorials on Tuesday 10th of June will be as follows,

10.30 Alex
11.00 David
11.30 George
12.00 Atira
12.30 Soso
1.00 Laurens

We will review new pages of the portfolio and the latest work.

Decomposed axonometric of a new station design into a block of the Madalena neighbourhood in Sao Paulo – Tommaso Sordon

Second Year Reviews

Second Year Reviews will be on Monday 9th of June in the Lecture Hall as follows,

11.00 Tommaso Sordon
11.30 Alvaro Calle Moreno
12.00 Shereen Doummar

Congratulations to our second year students for their great work and presentations.

Tutorials W5 3T

Tutorials on Friday 6th of June will be the last for Second Years before the Previews. We will review with you your presentations and latest work for it. Meanwhile third years should bring their portfolios to be reviewed after a presentation in a table format. Please prepare a 10 minutes presentation of your portfolio highlighting the main questions you have explored during the year. We will see you in the following order,

10.30 Laurens
11.00 David
11.30 George
12.00 Atira

2.00 Alex
2.30 Soso
3.00 Tommaso
3.30 Shereen
4.00 Alvaro

PRINT - gf plan details
Site plan by Shereen Doummar